BENCHMARK: Future Ipswich and District Athletics Club teams will have much to live up to after this year’s squad set a remarkable standard at the weekend’s State Championships.
IPSWICH and District Athletic Club representatives defied scorching heat and cold winds to excel and bring home a sizeable medal haul from the Glynis Nunn Shield at QSAC.
Across Saturday and Sunday two days of competition were held, including a Queensland Heptathlon and a Decathlon Combined Championships.
The 14-strong Ipswich contingent did the city proud, stepping up event after event to claim three gold and two silver medals, and deliver countless individual bests.
Madison Wells (under-20), Erin Wright (under-17) and Charlize Goody (under-15) led the assault.
The three outstanding young competitors showed they are well-placed to secure podium finishes at nationals in coming weeks by taking out their events convincingly.
Hayley Wright (under-20) collected silver to complete an Ipswich quinella, while Laylani Va’ai (under-18) also finished runner-up.
Ipswich had a raft of under-15 competitors, entering their first ever heptathlons.
Among them was fifth-placed Monique Williams, who broke her previous marks in the 90m hurdles, high jump, 200m and javelin. She too will progress onto the Australian Championships.
Toby Stolberg displayed her never-say-die attitude as she lowered her highest ever score by 517 points to finish just behind Williams in 7th on 3296 points and meet the national qualifying standard.
The youngest in her field by almost a full year Mackenzie Crowley came 10th but managed to surprise even herself with a huge shot put personal best. An injury during the javelin means she can easily improve and shoot up the rankings next time.
Lily Vine (8th), Kali Taylor (9th) and Abbie Severinsen (11th) are all developing rapidly and will only get better as their technique advances.
In the under-16 age group Mikaela Doneley surpassed her previous best by 267 points to book her berth at nationals. New PBs in the high jump and 200m demonstrate her potential in the gruelling multi-disciplined event.
Nipping at her heels was Sophie Wilkins. She will also head to the next level with high hopes after leaping further than before in long jump and matching many of her other individual records.
Last but not least, Hayley Webber (under-20) rounded out Ipswich’s involvement, coming in seventh in just her second ever heptathlon.
Coach Vic Pascoe said having a squad of 14 girls take part in the 2020 Queensland Heptathlon Championships and achieve the club’s best ever result was a milestone, which set a benchmark for future teams.
“This team of girls all have a wonderful future in the sport,” he said.
“The camaraderie really came to light over the two days of competition.
“The support of parents and friends was absolutely marvellous and this goes a long way to make a great team. The weather was sweltering on Saturday and cold and windy on Sunday, which made our girls’ achievements even more amazing.”
Experienced and dedicated coaches Theresa (Marty) Stolberg, Mark Sils, Darin Coombs, Michael Moore, Ted Ruben and Pascoe assisted Ipswich’s thoroughbreds throughout.